2 min read

ESPN+ Draws Record Subscriptions With UFC Debut


The UFC’s debut live event on ESPN+ over the weekend saw a record-breaking 568,000 new subscribers sign up to the Disney owned sports subscription streaming service.

525,000 subscribers signed up on Saturday to witness Henry Cejudo’s first-round knockout of TJ Dillashaw at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

In contrast to the influx of new subscribers, it took the streaming service 5 months to surpass one million paying subscribers since launching in April last year.

In addition, ESPN noted more than 1.8 million unique visitors to its MMA-related content across all digital platforms on the day of the event, which was its most-trafficked Saturday for MMA content ever.

ESPN president, Jimmy Pitaro said: “All day, and across all ESPN platforms, we collectively demonstrated the promise of what we can do to fulfil our mission of serving a wider array of sports fans.”

Saturday’s fight card was the first event as part of ESPN’s new five-year, US$1.5 billion rights deal with the UFC, which includes an agreement to show 20 bouts exclusively on ESPN+ each year.

“Our first UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ was a thrilling evening of action and a great success, with a record-setting night that continued the momentum for ESPN+, delivered strong ratings on ESPN and marks a great start to our new agreement with the UFC,” added Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at The Walt Disney Company.


It's free to join the team!

Join the most engaged community in the Sports Business World.

Get all the latest news, insights, data, education and event updates.